Faculty of Education and Social Work

Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary)

If you already have a bachelors degree, this one-year programme can qualify you to teach at primary and intermediate school level.

Quick facts
1 year
Taught at
Epsom Campus
Points per degree 160 (intensive programme)
Early start date Note that this programme has an early start date of 23 January 2017

Course overview

This graduate diploma is designed for graduates with degrees in other areas who want to become a teacher or work in education. This Primary teaching pathway has a strong emphasis on practical experience in schools and is taught by lecturers who are experts in their field. After just one year of intensive full-time study, where you will learn the latest teaching techniques and theories and how to apply them in practice, you can be qualified to teach in the primary level.


  • Strong emphasis placed on practical experience in classrooms
  • Qualifies you for Q3+ (a higher salary level that recognises your previous qualification)
  • Learn the latest teaching techniques and theories, and ways to apply them in school and classroom settings.


What you'll be studying

This is an intensive programme equivalent to 1.3 years of full-time study completed within a 12-month period. Applicants should consider if they are able to take on this high workload commitment before applying.

During the course of your study you will:

  • Study educational theory and practice and explore how children learn, grow and develop.
  • Learn about the New Zealand primary curriculum and cover a variety of curriculum subjects.
  • Undertake practical experience at schools in classrooms and work alongside experienced teachers to develop your teaching practice.


Choose your career

You will enter the workforce with a reputable and highly credible qualification from New Zealand's highest ranking university.

You will be qualified to teach in primary and intermediate schools and be eligible to apply for provisional teacher registration. With a three-year bachelors degree and a graduate diploma you will be eligible for a starting salary at Q3+ salary status, which is higher than the starting salary for those with only a bachelors degree.

Primary teachers with a degree in a secondary school curriculum subject eg, science, may be able to teach in secondary schools. It is also possible to apply for other secondary teaching positions eg, reading and language support.

Many students also use this qualification in other areas of employment and as a platform to entering into education-related roles in wider professions


How do you get in?

The academic requirement for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) is a minimum of a:

  • Bachelor’s degree at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) consisting of at least 360 credits; or
  • Bachelor’s degree with Honours at level 8 on the NZQF consisting of at least 480 credits; or
  • Master’s degree at level 9 on the NZQF consisting of 240 credits

Overseas qualifications will need to be assessed by the University for equivalence with New Zealand degree qualifications.

Personal references, a literacy and numeracy assessment and an interview are part of the selection process. Contact the faculty for further information.

Further information is on the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.


English language requirements

Applicants who have English as an additional language and are not a graduate at degree level (Level 7 or higher) from a New Zealand or Australian higher education institution will need to provide an Academic IELTS assessment. The Academic IELTS assessment must have a minimum score of at least 7.0 or higher in each of the IELTS modules. If you have studied at secondary school in New Zealand for at least two years, and have achieved, Level 2 NCEA University Entrance literacy credits, you will be exempted from the ITE Academic IELTS requirement. For University Entrance literacy you must have eight credits (4 in reading, 4 in writing) if gained prior to 2014 else ten credits (5 in reading, 5 in writing) from 2014 onwards.

International students - for IELTS entry requirements, refer to English language requirements.


Interested in further study?

With a GradDipTchg you could go on to postgraduate study (eg, Master of Education 180 points or the Postgraduate Certificate in Education). With three years of teaching experience, it is also possible to enter directly into the Master of Professional Studies in Education. Your masters degree can lead to doctoral study in education.


Compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

A safety check will be completed to ensure applicants meet all the requirements stipulated in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.


Application for Admission

To apply for admission into this programme, visit Applying and enrolling

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